Holding on is what hurts.
It’s so, so, so tempting to blame something, someone.
The whole world “out there” is based on blaming something, someone.
The whole world out there is based on cause and effect. Someone or something did something that causes you pain, suffering, hurt.
We’re so accustomed to seeing through the lens of something or someone causing our hurt, pain, suffering…that my suggestion that it is not true may seem ludicrous.
After all, SURELY if someone hit you, they caused your pain. Right?
And notice how quickly the conditioned mind leaps to these edge cases, these worst-case-scenarios, these things it is CERTAIN of as a way of dismissing anything that challenges the status quo. It wants to do away with anything that could radically alter the habit of misery.
I’m like you. My conditioned, habitual mind says the same kinds of things. It says that this claim that I’m making is wrong. Insane. Dangerous. Possibly even criminal.
But here’s why you read what I write. I don’t believe my conditioned, habitual mind. I simply look for myself and tell the truth. And when I do that it is abundantly obvious that my conditioned, habitual mind is…how to put this delicately…wrong.
And I’m encouraging you to do the same. I’m not encouraging you to believe my radical claim. I’m asking you to to look for yourself.
Look sincerely. Look now.
Look to your actual experience.
Don’t look to memory. Don’t look to projections into the future.
Look now to your actual experience.
The conditioned, habitual mind will object. It will say that looking is a waste of time. It will say that it already knows the answer.
It will say that CLEARLY someone or something causes your pain, suffering, misery, hurt. It has a long list of things it knows for SURE cause these problems. War, rape, medical malpractice, car accidents, abusive relationships, heavy metal toxicity, birth trauma, etc.
But do you want to live under the oppressive rule of your conditioned mind’s certainty?
I see bumper stickers that say “love is greater than fear”. Well, let’s test it out. Let’s find out for sure, for real. Right now, let’s find out.
To find out, we have to first recognize fear. We have to see that the mind’s rule is entirely fear-based.
Looking honestly now is not a true threat to anything real. But the mind will put up such a fight. It will do anything to try to prevent sincere looking.
Why? Fear. Isn’t that obvious? It is fearful of looking.
Why? Well, take a look and find out.
Look sincerely now at your actual, direct, unmediated experience.
That means you don’t think about your experience. You just stay with the immediacy of it as it is. There’s no time for thinking here. Thinking is too much. So just stay with the immediacy.
Now, what happens?
If you’re honest, you’ll have to admit that what happens is totally unknown, totally fresh, totally free.
Is there any holding on in this moment of direct perception?
No. Of course not.
Look again now and see this clearly.
Holding on – or we could call it grasping, gripping, tension, thinking, worrying, solving, fixing, figuring out, getting somewhere, getting rid of, etc. – is only an IDEA that happens after the fact.
In this moment now of pure seeing, there’s only this pure seeing.
This is truly radical. If you think you know what I’m saying, be willing to drop that idea. Because even I don’t know what I’m saying. I can’t because that would only be an idea based on some past conclusion.
But what I’m pointing to here is way more radical. It is always here now. It is not something that will give us anything. It is not something that will fix our problems. It is not something that will make us invulnerable. it is not something that will make us more spiritual, more gentle, more loving, or anything based on our ideas of what that should mean.
It is not something that we can understand in the mechanical way we are used to.
Sooner or later you catch a glimpse of this. Hopefully now. Just look now. Look purely, simply, effortlessly now.
And if you can honestly say, “Gee, I don’t know what this is,” that’s what I’m talking about.
It’s just simply this. Not something special. Not some “spiritual experience”. Not something that you think is a better or more desirable experience.
It’s just this as it is, unmediated by the conditioned mind.
Don’t try. Don’t try to get rid of thoughts. Don’t try to achieve a different state. Don’t make any effort. Just drop it all for a moment and see as you already see before all the complications.
Now, once you catch a glimpse, you’ll probably wonder “How can I get more of this?”
Well, you can’t. But what you can do is just watch for the holding on that happens. Watch for it. See it. See the gripping, grasping, tensing, figuring out, solving, worrying, etc.
And don’t try to get rid of it or fix it. Just see it.
As you do this, you’ll eventually see that you’re seeing at more subtle levels. And eventually you start to recognize a great cosmic joke. Which is this: You’ve only ever just been simply seeing.